Rope, wood and 39 foam board flowers decorated with fashion patterns. These were the elements of a display of Spanish children’s shoe brands at the 76th annual children’s fashion fair, FIMI (Feria Internacional de Moda Infantil) in Valencia, Spain, at the end of January.
Valencia-based design studio Masquespacio with designer Ana Milena Hernández Palacios at the helm of the project, was charged with creating a stand-out exhibit for the shoes amid the colourful children's fashion exhibitors. They needed to achieve the results by using either materials already in the Fair’s warehouse or materials that could be manufactured at a low cost internally.
Foamboard and vinyl became the key elements for the two-sided flowers, clouds and circles, hand-cut by the fair’s sign makers. When suspended from the ceiling with nylon line, the pastel-hued mobile twirled lightly in the space.
The trees at either end were part of an earlier exhibition, but reused for this stand as a place to hang the information of each of the 39 participating brands.
We like the overall effect of juicy warmth and crafty playfulness achieved with very few elements yet expressing an idyllic child’s world effortlessly. The shoes appear as if they were an afterthought, which makes the display even more appealing, considering that the fair’s visitors were seasoned children's fashion experts who were perfectly capable of zeroing in on the shoes without the display pushing them in their faces. Tuija Seipell
Exposition: David Rodríguez from Cualiti
Viennese mums and dads have yet another option to spoil their offspring: Bambini in central Vienna at Tuchlauben 7.
The interior of the 360 square-meter (3875 sq.ft) multi-level emporium of children’s high-end fashion was entirely custom-designed by the 12-year-old Viennese firm, Architektur Denis Kosutic, for the Vienna-based MB Fashion GmbH.
Carrying such brands as Armani Junior, Fendi, Gucci, La Perla, Roberto Cavalli, Versace Young and Missoni, this is MB Fashion’s first shop of the Bambini concept.
Kosutic and collaborators Mareike Kuchenbecker and Carina Haberl took a Wizard-of-Oz/Alice-in-Wonderland/Jules Verne approach yet cooled the usual colour riot of kiddie stores down into a junior film noir environment
Everything from wall and floor treatments to furnishings and display elements was created specifically for this store.
With smoky grey as the main hue, the space is both imaginatively fun and slightly scary – and we all know that most kids love to be scared, if they feel safe.
There are surprises and details that don’t quite match, which makes the space interesting and fun, yet keeps the tone down at a tolerable level.
The custom-created surreal flowers-and-lollipops pattern appears in various places and at different scales throughout the store. Cage-like pillars made of copper tubing create the central merchandise displays and evoke a feeling of retro-futuristic submarine vehicles.
Velvet draping, soft floorcoverings and smooth surfaces on some furnishings add a softness to temper the hard and shiny metallic components.
Also custom-designed are the friezes of mushrooms, lollipops and pears, and seating shaped like bananas, strawberries, lemons and plums.
The designers aimed for a space that would “allow adults to be kids and kids to be adults.” We think they have succeeded. - Tuija Seipell.
Photographer: Lea Titz
Should anyone need an excuse to travel to Naples, we can offer the perfect one: Go there to explore Metro Napoli’s Art Stations. (That’s subway or tube stations for the rest of us.) The Art Stations program has been going on for some time with artists, designers and architects, including, Alessandro Mendini, Anish Kapoor, Gae Aulenti Jannis Kounellis, Karim Rashid, Michelangelo Pistoletto and Sol LeWitt contributing.
What drew our attention is the 13th Art Station of the Naples Metro system, the Toledo Metro Station, that opened finally after many delays in September 2012, during the European Week of Sustainable Mobility. It was designed by the Spanish firm of architect Oscar Tusquets Blanca.
The station is on Via Toledo (Via Roma), one of the main shopping streets in Naples. A second entrance to the Toledo Station will open in February 2013 in the Spanish Quarter, Quartieri Spagnoli. Oscar Blanca also designed the public squares above the two metro entrances.
The Toledo station is one of the deepest in the line at 50 meters, and it is themed around water and light. The art of the station, curated by art critic and former Venice Biennale director, Achille Bonito Oliva, includes two mosaics by the South African artist, William Kentridge, as well as Light Panels Robert Wilson and works by Francesco Clemente, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Shirin Nehsat and Oliviero Toscani.
We especially love the deep, blue, sparkling crater that connects the ground level with the great lobby 38 meters below. No wonder that The Daily Telegraph included the Toledo Station on its Europe’s Most Impressive Underground Railway Stations list. - Tuija Seipell
See also: Metro Station Drassanes, Barcelona
This funky pharmacy with its unconventional exterior and startling interior volume is not something you’d expect to stroll into in a small, ancient town in north-central Portugal.
Yet the 50,000 or so inhabitants of Vila Real (=Royal Town) who can trace their town’s history back to the paleolithic era, were quite used to an imposing pharmacy building on this site.
But when the private owner of Farmácia Lordelo - which had already operated nearly quarter-century on this site - decided to rebuild, she did not go for timid.
Instead, the architecture and interior design by JOSÉ CARLOS CRUZ – ARQUITECTO went all the way to a super-modern, taking advantage of the fact that the area does not have strict building style restrictions. The building certainly stands out in this residential neighborhood located slightly off the city centre.
Many of us are used to the type of “drug store” where the actual pharmacy part is squeezed into a back corner somewhere and given as little space as possible – as it is not the part generating the profit - while the rest of the store space is taken up by everything from diapers and toilet paper to books and food, and with the tacky packaging and POS material that goes with that. A pharmacy this clean and beautiful is a rarity, indeed.
Farmácia Lordelo is not only a compounding pharmacy but also a laboratory, which is one of the reasons the designers toned everything down and kept the interior airy, white and logo-less. How wonderfully refreshing! And yes, it does look a bit sterile and clinical as well, but that was the intention.
The oval-shaped space is 522 square meters in size (5618 sq.ft.) and the various functions are divided into two levels with the retail floor on ground level..
We also love the cool aluminum coated and perforated exterior where the only opening is the main entrance to the retail floor. The enormous cross logo and the external lighting changes creating an animated and lively contrast to the monochrome interior. - Tuija Seipell
Images by Fernando Guerra, FG+SG Fotografia de Architectura
Yes, yes! We LOVE the cool, clean, minimalist interior (no news here to our readers) of the brand-new 100 square-meter retail store, the HITGallery, opened at the end of September in the Times Square shopping center in Hong Kong.
The elegantly retro store, designed by the talented Milan-based architect and designer, Fabio Novembre, is the first iteration of a new global multi-brand retail concept of the Pettoranello-based fashion house, Ittierre S.p.A. Ittierre holds the licenses, manufacturers and markets several brands, including Aquascutum, C’n’C Costume National, Galliano, GF Ferré, Fiorucci, Karl Lagerfeld Paris, Pierre Balmain and Tommy Hilfiger Collection. The latest brand to sign with Ittierre is Jean Paul Gaultier, with his men’s collection launching in Fall/Winter 2013-14.
The HITGallery boutiques, slated to open around the globe, feature\s several, if not all, of the lines Ittiere represents. The next store in line will be the Milan flagship but in the meanwhile, Ittierre has just opened a 1,000-square-meter temporary store, IT'S 30 MANZONI, at Palazzo Scotti Gallarati in Milan's luxury neighborhood.
In a media release, Fabio Novembre is quoted as saying that The HITGallery stores capture the essence and spirit of Italy by, for example, taking inspiration from the surreal atmospheres of the artist Giorgio De Chirico.
He continues: “Upon entering the concept store in Hong Kong, people will promptly notice the strong Italian imprint of the architectural design’s classical matrix: symmetrical structure, row of arches, one dominant hue offset by two-tone flooring. The color defining the walls – a neutral shade bordering between green and sky or cerulean blue – defies classification, so becoming the ideal backdrop for all the brands sold in the store.”
We love the uncluttered feel, the delicious Casamania Her chair (also by Novembre) and the complete lack of brand-clutter, especially signs and logos. The latter, of course, will pose the most massive of all retail challenges that trumps all design and merchandising feats: The need to provide relevant and sincerely customer-centric service. Don’t even get us started on THAT topic! - Tuija Seipell
Photography by Dennis Lo
The ultimate lifestyle shopping experience has arrived to Australia’s most iconic beach: The Cool House by The Cool Hunter. After the huge success of The Cool House in Melbourne last week (4,500 people attended over four days), Sydney's Bondi Beach welcomes the ultimate pop-up boutique.
For 10 days only, The Cool Hunter lifestyle is available in the real world - detailed throughout The Lighthouse, Pacific Bondi Beach's f finest penthouse.
As you'd expect from The Cool Hunter, it is all wall-to-wall style, progressive design and understated luxury – and it is all available for purchase; every single items is for sale, as is The Lighthouse itself
Styled by Steve Cordony from Belle Magazine.
There are three kitchen displays with the latest designer kitchen accessories to purchase.
Everything is available to buy, including The Lighthouse.
Flowers by Poho Florist in Potts Point.
Balcony Design by Garden Life
Balcony Design by Garden Life
Large mobile artwork chandelier by Sydney-based paper artist Benja Harvey
The Cool House Sydney
Friday 7 Dec - Sunday 16 Dec
10:00am to 6:00pm
Pacific Bondi Beach
6th Floor of the Swiss Grand Hotel
(Enter through Swiss Grand Hotel foyer - take lift to level 5 and follow signs once you see surfboard with Pacific signage)
180 Campbell Parade
The 12-year-old Clube Disco night club in São Paulo was reborn this fall. It now carries its past proudly yet offers a completely upgraded experience.
Brazilian architect Guto Requena worked with architect Mauricio Arruda on this project. We like the retro custom-designed furniture that gives a nod to the 1970s Brazilian style and mixes nicely with the black-leather, exposed-pipes underground disco feel. And we like the tunnel that was re-envisioned by Brazilian artist Kleber Matheus.
The lighting of the dance floor consists of 250 linear meters of metallic rails with LED tape that run as a frame along the perimeter of the space. This allows for an endless variety of lighting programs and color mixes to create and accentuate different effects based on the music. The entire system is controlled by the MADRIX software. - Tuija Seipell
When we first saw the images of Villa SSK by Takeshi Hirobe Architects, we had mixed feelings. On one hand, the house is made of wood which usually helps us become interested, and it does afford the inhabitants many beautiful vistas.
On the other, the structure seemed somewhat out of place among its very plain-looking neighbours, and we could not shake the feeling that it was slightly Darth Vaderish, dropped from beyond the Outer Rim.
But the longer we looked, the more we liked this villa by Tokyo Bay. It reads like a thoroughfare between the mountain and the sea. The vistas are clear and beautiful from many angles, and each viewpoint is different. By combining rigid timber veneer walls and truss arches, the tunnel-like space is achieved without almost no right-angle walls, all of which adds to the feel of the unexpected.
The residence includes spacious living, dining and kitchen areas, a bathroom overlooking the ocean, and one guest room. It also boasts a special room that can be used to display the owner’s beloved car.
What we like most is the way the tiled central courtyard functions as an outdoor living room, where the owners’ dogs can play and where larger parties can be held. Water also flows into the courtyard to create a pond. The bathroom, with its round tub, has possibly the best view in the house.
When the residence is lit at night, the impression from both the inside and outside is that of lightness and tranquility. Great qualities for a home. - Tuija Seipell (Photos: Koichi Torimura)
After months of preparation, The Cool House Pop-up boutique series starts this month in Melbourne, Australia continues in Sydney next weekend, and in 2013 we will be setting up temporary boutiques in New York and London.
The creative aesthetic was designed by the talented Daniel Frigo, Art Director at Things Project. Authenticca Creative Agency provided concept assistance and were responsible for all interior styling with the visual merchandising students from RMIT University helping to pull it all together.
Koo Koo letterboxes by Playso make their debut
Putting the fun and the excitement of discovery back into retail.
Wired for some serious sound.
Slouchy arm chairs and a nature mural: Roughing it in the city.
Playing house and breaking all the rules.
Floral installation by Fleur's Florist in Armadale,
Everywhere you look, there’s a new surprise. Shopping CAN be fun!
Everyhting can be bought then and there.
All images by Ms Rokeby studios herself, Marija Ivkovic.